16 November 2017

Black in Scraps

Have you seen the black and white photo challenge? No people, no pets, no explanation. Today's quilt finish fits in quite nicely!

I didn't particularly like the "no explanation" portion of the challenge, but I've been seeing some pretty cool black and white photos. All my journalism years were spent during the era of black and white newspapers, so black and white isn't really a challenge for me. I enjoy seeing how others who haven't worked exclusively in black and white interpret the challenge.

However, I want explanations!!!

When I finally got tagged in the challenge, I posted a mythical and curiosity-provoking creation in a deliberate effort to stimulate conversation.

I asked whose idea the "no explanation" portion of the challenge was - someone who doesn't want to take the time to read but just look at the pretty pictures? I noted that I like reading what people write about their photos.

Conversation ensued. Yay!

Lizard said I should weave a fantasy about my outlandish oryx, mirrored in Instagram so I could fit the entire antlers into the post. So I commented the creature is real, thriving in the highlands of the San Juans, inspiring retired journalists to compose whimsical tales and offbeat novels. Now I suppose I need to come up with a two-headed hero in a half NaNoWriMo, right?

How about a fanciful fairy tale about colorful autumn leaves still dangling from trees in mid-November?

Or perhaps the stone cold bighorn guarding the courthouse steps could come to life in search of quilted heat?

Maybe super heroes will swoop down into the city to rescue a scrappy quilt from mischievous squirrels unhappy with the end of baseball season because that means no more nuts until April?

Now that I have your attention, you'll probably think the wacky details of this quilt are fictitious, too!

I had nearly finished pin-basting this baby when I noticed a pin prick blood spot on one of the white blocks. I quickly tried removing the fresh blood with cold water and a towel. No telling how many blood spots might be hidden on the black squares!!!

After I finished cleaning up the damage, I returned to pin-basting, and the backing was two inches too short on the final side. I'd added a couple of inches to the perpendicular side when cutting the zebra stripe backing to make sure it was big enough. When I taped the layers to the floor (one by one), I thought everything fit. When I smoothed everything out before pinning, I apparently didn't notice the top layer overlapped one side of the backing.

I had just finished taking everything apart, trying to make sure there were no more blood stains because I still hadn't figured out from whence the blood came. I had been dreading quilting this monster for months because it's so large, and the throat of my little Brother sewing machine is so narrow. This quilt definitely wasn't being user friendly!

I decided a strip from the camo might look good down one side of the back. It was the only black and/or white scrap with enough left for a long strip. After pin basting one more time, I had to take a four-day break from quilting altogether, not only because I didn't have time, but because I had officially hit burnout.

It was a big black bear to quilt. I wanted to throw in the towel several times. It took four nights after work and two weekend days to finish all the quilting, then another night to cut and finish the binding, which also incorporated scraps. Piecing the binding was a baby grizzly bear because I had to keep adding more. The quilt was too big!

But now the whole project is done. Now I have only three more quilts to finish for my quilts for Christmas project. The next three aren't this big. And they all have color! I get to break free from black and white, even in photography!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Determination saw you through. Squirrel attacks over baseball being over could make for a fun kids book. the first pic made me think of the title, "Where's My A**" lol

    1. Thanks, Pat! I could totally see you writing a book about the squirrel!!!

  2. WOW! No explanation needed . . . just WOW. Looks gorgeous! ~smile~ Roseanne

    1. Thank you, Roseanne! So glad to be done with this one!

  3. Congrats! on your newly completed quilt. LOVE this one (and more than a little shocked that you made a quilt this big!!) Best of luck on the making/finishing of those last 3 Christmas quilts.

    1. Thank you, Joy! I hope I have a long arm next time I decide to do anything that big. That was hard work. But light at the end of the tunnel!!! Just one more to go for this goal!!!

  4. The irony about the daily "no explanation" caption is that the phrase itself is an explanation. I'll admit I got tired of seeing it on my friends' posts. For a true "no explanation", people should just post the photo without any caption at all. (Picky, picky, picky, I know.) I'm with you - I too like to read explanations!
    How about a challenge where people post ONLY THEIR OWN THOUGHTS AND WORDS in plain black and white - no memes, no links to somebody's video or somebody else's speech or article, no fancy coloured backgrounds, no ads for something they're selling. (Photos okay as long as they're taken by the poster.) Wouldn't that be refreshing?
    Now that I've got that out of my system ... WOW what a great quilt! Beautifully balanced but with so much movement. I feel your pain on the machine quilting with a narrow-throated machine. Nicely done.

    P.S. If the blood is yours, your own saliva is the best way to remove it. Something to do with enzymes. I've tried it (out of desperation, back in my own quilting days) and it works.

    1. Must be instinct, Sue! Saliva was my first reaction. Then hydrogen peroxide, which did the trick. I'm glad I'm not the only one sick of the "no explanation" explanations!


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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